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Indeed, “Tracking: The Key to Success in Recruitment Advertising”

Posted on September 21, 2007
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Indeed launches PPA: pay-per-action, pay-per-applicant (beta)

Indeed has been beta testing pay-per-action (PPA) pricing for a few of their clients over the last couple of months, and they’re looking for other companies interested in trying it.

Pay-per-action typically means pay-per-applicant in the recruiting arena, and this is true for their current PPA beta testers, who are tracking applications they receive from their sponsored jobs on and are paying only for those applicants. PPA advertisers’ sponsored jobs appear above and below Indeed’s organic results just like their pay-per-click (PPC) sponsored jobs. Their organic results remain entirely unpaid and ranked strictly by relevance.

Advertisers sponsoring their jobs on Indeed on a PPA basis can specify any kind of online action that is important to them. Receiving a candidate application is normally the simplest kind of action, but some advertisers may choose other kinds of action – paying only when candidates complete an online questionnaire or create an account, for example.

Initial indications from their beta testers are that cost-per-applicant pricing is an attractive alternative to cost-per-click. Contact ‘Indeed’ if you are interesting in participating.

“Tracking: The Key to Success in Recruitment Advertising”

‘If you are an employer, what’s the most important kind of data you should be getting from your applicant tracking system (ATS) other than the applicants themselves? In our opinion, it is the source of those applicants – i.e. which websites your candidates come from. That’s the only way you can effectively evaluate your recruitment advertising campaigns. To calculate the return on investment from your postings on CareerBuilder, for example, you need to know both how much you spent with CareerBuilder and which applicants you got from that source.

If your applicant tracking system isn’t providing this information to you, you should ask for it! Sometimes the data is there – somewhere – but not surfaced unless you request it. You also need to check the quality of this data. If it derives from candidate self-selection using drop-down menus – of the “which website did you find this job on?” variety – it will be inaccurate to the point of being useless. At least one survey has shown that candidates simply do not pick the right source when faced with these menus – they tend to pick the top one, or the brand with which they are most familiar, rather than the site where they really found the job. To be meaningful, tracking the source of candidates has to be done automatically. Luckily, the technology to do this is simple.

Indeed encourages all companies to add a tracking token to their jobs so they can see which applicants come from their site – both from our unpaid (organic) results and their sponsored results. Contact Indeed for more information, then talk to your applicant tracking system provider to make sure you can access this information. You should also do this for all the other websites you advertise your jobs on. There’s no better way to figure out the ROI of your recruitment advertising campaigns.’


“Simply a one-stop shop for job seekers.”
Walter Mossberg, Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2005

Indeed is a search engine for jobs – with a radically different approach to job search. In one simple search, Indeed gives job seekers free access to millions of employment opportunities from thousands of websites. includes all the job listings from major job boards, newspapers, associations and company career pages – and we continue to add new sites every day.

With the familiar look and feel of general search engines, Indeed makes it easy for you to drill down by keyword and location to jobs that fit your requirements precisely. You may save your searches and have jobs delivered to you by email alert, MyYahoo, or other RSS feed readers. If you have a MyYahoo account, for example, your saved Indeed job search may be added at the click of a button.

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